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Zoya Verjee, EZ Plants:

“We provide flowers that were not yet available in Kenya”

“People really had to get used to the petunias and pot roses, as they were not used to having these available in Kenya. In addition, we are filling in a gap by providing lots of colorful flowers that were needed for landscaping companies,” Zoya Verjee, founder of EZ Plants, a potted plant and flower distributor in Kenya, explains. Verjee explains the need for her new distribution company, how they adapted to the pandemic, and their future plans of expanding outside of Kenya.

Zoya Verjee 

Distributing potted plants in Kenya
Verjee started the company in 2019, when she wanted to introduce more potted plants into Kenya. “I felt like there was a need for more potted plants, garden flowers and vegetables, for example. We started off with just five flowers and five herbs to see how well this would go, but we quickly increased our range of flowers, and we now have over sixty types of flowers and demand is increasing.” To help fulfill the high demand for flowers, EZ Plants supplies florists, supermarkets, restaurants, and much more, as well as providing home deliveries. EZ Plants has a partnership with Plantech Kenya, a seedling nursery in Naivasha, which grows the plants that EZ Plants distributes. “It’s a symbiotic relationship, they provide us with their plants to distribute, we give them a production list based on our orders so they know what is in demand and what to grow next.”

Getting people used to new flowers
Verjee explains that the company got off to a bit of a rocky start as clients had to get used to EZ Plant’s flowers. “We were providing flowers that were not yet available in Kenya, such as petunias, so people really had to get used to those. Therefore, we had to do a lot of promotion, and by doing giveaways and giving out samples, demand started to pick up. After a while we also introduced pot roses, which are also a new introduction in Kenya, and we really underestimated how popular they were going to be, as we didn’t have enough supply for the demand at one point.” According to Verjee, another challenge has been the shifting of trends. “Sometimes a certain flower is in really high demand and everyone wants them. As a result, we start growing many more of them and then eight weeks later nobody wants them anymore. This quickly shifting popularity of certain flowers has been a challenge for us.”

Adapting to the pandemic
In addition, right when people started to get interested in EZ Plants’ assortment, the pandemic started. “Supermarkets and garden centers were now having very limited movements, so we had to adapt and we started focusing on door-to-door deliveries, which has been working great. In addition, we decided to provide for the new gardeners by introducing a ‘kitchen collection’ with onions and tomato plants, for example, that are perfect for everyone who has been staying at home.”

Focusing on colors
EZ Plants also provides a lot of flowers for landscaping companies, as there was a need for more variety. “There are garden centers and other companies around, but most of those focus on indoor plants and lots of greens. And if there are some colorful flowers available, it is difficult to get many of those at the same time. Therefore, we are filling a gap by providing lots of colorful choices. If a Kenyan landscaping company needs 2000 pansies, they can order them from us without any problems.”

The future of EZ Plants
“We are continuously expanding our assortment, and are hoping to do indoor plants as well as more unique varieties in the future. We are also noticing an increasing demand for edible flowers in Kenya, as they are currently popular in restaurants, so that is another aspect we want to focus on. As for our distribution, we would love to branch out into East Africa soon, and are currently working on how to do that as efficiently as possible.”

For more information:
EZ Plants
Zoya Verjee
[email protected]